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Hacking Crimes

Hacking / Internet / Cyber Crimes

Sometimes called “cyber crime” or “hacking”, computer related crimes can range from fraud, espionage, intrusions, even terrorism. The more serious charges include identity theft, money laundering, financial fraud, illegal exports, and narcotic trafficking. One important aspect of this kind of charge is that it can be charged as a state offense or a federal offense.

 

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency carries a great deal of the workload in investigating cyber crime through Homeland Security Investigations and the Cyber Crimes Center (C3). Equipped with highly sophisticated technology, C3 specializes in gathering digital evidence and engages in computer investigations on every level of law enforcement.

 

State Computer Crime Charges

In Orange County, the OC Sheriff’s Department conducts investigations related to computer crimes. Collaborating with the National White Collar Crime and Internet Fraud Complaint Center, the OCSD cross-generates leads and follow up investigations into every known crime that connects with cyber activity: trade secrets, private data, human trafficking, homicides, credit card theft, etc.

 

Hacking Laws

The term “hacking” connotes many meanings. Therefore, the law makes several definitions for what it could mean in the context of criminal offenses. California Penal Code §502 determines these instances of hacking and punishes each type differently.

 

Here are some common examples of hacking.

1. Accessing Without Permission

Knowingly Access without permission, alter, damages, deletes, destroys, or otherwise uses date, computer, computer system, or network in order to either devise or execute any scheme or artifice to defraud, deceive, or extort, or wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data.

Punishment: up to $10,000 fine and up to three years in prison (felony)
Punishment: up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail (misdemeanor)

 

 

2. Accessing to Take Data

Knowingly access and without permission take, copy, or make use of any data from any computer, computer system, or computer network, or take copies any documentation, whether residing internal or external to a computer, the computer system, or the network.

Punishment: up to $10,000 fine and up to three years in prison (felony)
Punishment: up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail (misdemeanor)

 

 

3. Using a Computer Service Without Permission

Knowingly and without permission use or cause to be used a computer service.

Punishment: up to $5,000 in fine and up to one year in jail.

 

 

4. Damaging Software

Knowingly access and without permission add, alter, damage, delete, or destroy any data, computer software, or computer programs which reside or exist internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network.

Punishment: up to $10,000 fine and up to three years in prison (felony)
Punishment: up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail (misdemeanor)

 

 

5. “DDOS” or Service Disruption

Knowingly and without permission disrupt or cause the disruption of computer services or denies or causes the denial of computer services to an authorized user of a computer, computer system, or computer network.

Punishment: up to $10,000 fine and up to three years in prison (felony)
Punishment: up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail (misdemeanor)

 

 

6. Assisting with Computer Access or Service Access

Knowingly and without permission provide or assist in providing a means of accessing a computer, computer system or computer network in violation of this section.

Punishment: up to $10,000 fine if no injury.
Punishment: where victim’s injury below $5,000, up to one year in jail.
Punishment: where victim’s injury above $5,000, up to three year in prison

 

 

7. Causing Access to a Computer or System

Knowingly and without permission access or cause to be accessed any computer, computer system, or computer network.

Punishment: up to $10,000 fine if no injury.
Punishment: where victim’s injury below $5,000, up to one year in jail.
Punishment: where victim’s injury above $5,000, up to three year in prison

 

 

8. Computer Virus Contamination

Knowingly introduces any computer contaminant into any computer, computer system, or computer network.

Punishment: up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in county jail.
Punishment: up to $10,000 fine and three years in prison if resulted in injury

 

 

9. Using Domain of Another

Knowingly and without permission uses the Internet domain name of another individual, corporation, or entity in connection with the sending of one or more electronic mail messages, and thereby damages or causes damage to a computer, computer system, or computer network.

Punishment: up to $1,000 fine if no injury.
Punishment: up to $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail if resulted in injury

 

 

What to do if Charged or Arrested for Hacking Crimes

The complexity of computer crimes can sometimes be as complex as the computer systems themselves. Therefore, undertaking a defense for these charges on your own is not advised.

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